Saturday, July 16, 2016

Westin Jekyll Island Hotel Introduces 50 Shades of Green Meetings


At the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, representatives from The Westin Jekyll Island pose with one of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center patients after presenting the first check from their “Make a Green Choice” program to the Jekyll Island Foundation. 

 From left--   Dion Davis, executive director of the Jekyll Island Foundation; Alex Lugo, general manager of The Westin Jekyll Island; Dr. Terry Norton, director and veterinarian for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center; Chandler Sharp, AmeriCorps husbandry member for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Kevin Baker, director of sales and marketing at The Westin Jekyll Island.  (photo courtesy Georgia Sea Turtle Center) 

Kimberly Andrews
Jekyll Island, GA -- The Westin Jekyll Island, a 200-room, convention-class, beachfront hotel today announced a unique collaboration developed to address the demands of meeting planners for greener options and distinctly local interaction all while raising money for a nationally acclaimed marine science center in its backyard.

The Westin Jekyll Island will make a donation to the island’s Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the state’s premier sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center, whenever a guest waives housekeeping services.

“It’s an environmental double play,” said Kevin Baker, director of sales and marketing.  “By donating the fee to the turtle center, we’re doubling the impact of the brand’s Make a Green Choice program, which reduces water and detergent usage.” 

Johns Manville meeting planner, MaryAnn Loonam was among the first to test drive the new offerings when she brought the company’s Environment, Health & Safety meeting to the hotel. 

“Our group was very happy to have donated $250 to the Turtle Center just by participating in Make a Green Choice and the 45 guests who went on the center’s beach walk to collect and log debris in the Marine Debris Tracker got even more from their time on Jekyll Island,” said Loonam.  “Westin Jekyll Island has created an easy and innovative way for groups to make a difference and have a meaningful, local experience.”

Kevin Baker
Just as one green deed deserves another, Baker and the center’s research coordinator, Kimberly Andrews, PhD took the collaboration a step further to let guests see the full spectrum of the island’s green landscape. 

For an additional donation, Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff members will bring rescued animals to mix and mingle with guests at receptions or pre-function gatherings.

“We’ve all been to events with strolling entertainment, but this sort of locally relevant, environmentally informative interaction seems to resonate with group leaders and their guests,” said Baker. “The experts at the center are professional educators, so they welcome the opportunity to share their passion for preservation in an entirely new setting. 

“Most of us have never seen an alligator up close, or had the chance to make eye-to-eye contact with a rescued turtle, and learn about its injuries and the rehab process.  Snakes at a cocktail party get a bigger reaction than slight-of-hand tricks, I can assure you.”

Dion Davis

The turtle center also will arrange private tours of the facility and organize beach walks for groups interested in more in-depth experiences.        

The Westin Jekyll Island was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, (LEED) Silver specifications and minimize the hotel's impact on the barrier island's sensitive surroundings. 

It is a cornerstone of the community’s Beach Village project, which includes the 128,000-square-foot oceanfront Jekyll Island Convention Center promenade, village green, restaurants, retail shopping and Great Dunes Park.
Mary Ann Loonam
 For small groups, weddings and reunions the hotel’s 5,350 square feet of indoor meeting space, as well as outdoor venues promise a memorable event. 

            “Facilities and location are key considerations when choosing a meeting destination,” noted Baker.  “We start with an island that is 67 percent preserved from development, a LEED-designed, oceanfront hotel and certified LEED-Silver convention center.

“ The Westin Jekyll Island amps up the green impact by reducing water waste and making a charitable donation to a local preservation organization, and tops it off with a way to bring the outdoors in with local environmentalists.  We think this will be a powerful combination for meeting planners to make a memorable experience for their guests.”

With ocean views and direct beach access, the Westin Jekyll Island features the complete suite of Westin signature amenities including the Heavenly Bed®, and Heavenly Bath® with exclusive White Tea Aloe bath amenities, all designed to promote overall wellbeing. In-room, high-speed Internet access and an ergonomic work space will offer travelers convenience and productivity in a tranquil setting.

 Dining options at The Westin Jekyll Island include The Reserve, an upscale, casual restaurant serving the freshest local seafood and Salty's poolside bar and café for cocktails and lighter fare. Harry’s @The Reserve, the hotel’s outdoor rooftop bar with sweeping views of the beach and ocean is available for private parties.

Westin Jekyll Island Hotel, Jekyll Island, GA
Westin SuperFoodsRX™ options are on the menu at all three restaurants.  Additional facilities include a resort-style outdoor pool, beach chair and umbrella service, and the brand’s signature WestinWORKOUT® gym experience, including loaner gear and a running concierge.

Close to the island's National Historic Landmark District, The Westin Jekyll Island also is convenient to the island's four golf courses, 10 miles of barrier island beaches and a variety of outdoor recreation, including marsh eco-tours, and more than 20 miles of bike paths and kayaking waterways.

            The Westin Jekyll Island offers the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, which offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program without blackout date restrictions.  
For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Lauralee Dobbins
Write Touch PR

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